By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa and his lieutenants have chosen to do away with primary elections by hand-picking candidates to represent the newly formed organisation in the upcoming March 26 by-elections.
It is reported the party’s leadership chose the ‘consensus’ route, deciding not to hold primary elections for the vacant local council and parliamentary seats.
In Masvingo Urban, four urban councillors were recalled by MDC-T’s Douglas Mwonzora and only two of them are contesting to retain their positions at the Town House under the CCC party.
However, inside sources allege there are some disgruntled members who were eyeing some wards, especially in Masvingo Urban, but were told to stand down and rally behind the top leadership’s preferred candidates in the spirit of ‘consensus’.
Daniel Mberikunashe (ward 5) and Richard Musekiwa (ward 7) are the two recalled councillors who are trying to regain their lost seats while Roki Kamuzondiwa and Alec Tabe were handpicked to contest in wards 3 and 4 respectively.
However, there was confusion for nomination in ward 4 after Thokozile Muchuchutu also filed her nomination papers together with Tabe.
Kamuzondiwa replaced Tarusenga Vhembo who is likely to contest under the MDC-T banner while Tabe replaces Godfrey Kurauone who is reportedly in the United States.
Two parliamentary seats; Mwenezi East and Chivi South constituencies are also up for grabs with Zanu PF fielding Master Makope and Munyaradzi Zizhou while CCC has fielded Munyaradzi Mhlolo and Tendekai Mandizvidza respectively.
NewZimbabwe.com has gathered that senior CCC officials visited Masvingo recently to try and iron out differences in the city.
The visit came after aspiring candidates sent their papers to Harare for vetting, but the party leadership chose to handpick candidates than hold by-elections.
This did not go well with some aspirants who wanted to contest in primary elections and were hoping to win the party’s ticket to contest in the much-anticipated by-elections.
CCC deputy spokesperson, Ostallos Siziba told NewZimbabwe.com that the party was doing away with the tradition of doing dubious primary elections or imposition of candidates by giving those powers to the community to choose their own representative.
“When we formed our party, we agreed that we are going to participate in the by-elections. The second resolution was that we are going to have what we call the community candidate selection process, so we are not doing the MDC and Zanu PF primary processes. This is a citizens’ movement and they are the ones that deploy authority and candidates. So, it’s far from the tradition where a few elites gather and agree on a candidate,” Siziba said.
“All over the country the party is ready, we have fielded candidates to make sure that we bring to pass the Zanu PF’s illegal recalls. There is no doubt that we are going to win majority if not all constituencies that we have fielded candidates.”